How can I remove or fade age / liver spots on my face?
September 22, 2007 4:50 PM   Subscribe

After moving to a hotter climate I seem to have developed a few unattractive flat brown spots on my face which I'm assuming are liver or age spots (too big to be freckles). This has never happened to me before so I'm not sure what to do - can anyone please tell me an effective way to fade these spots or get rid of them altogether?
posted by katala to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
See a dermatologist. They have several options for smoothing skin tone and removing sun damage.
posted by caitlinb at 4:51 PM on September 22, 2007

(Oh, and going forward be scrupulous about sunscreen. All the time.)
posted by caitlinb at 4:52 PM on September 22, 2007

I have a few of these "age spots" from being over exposed to the sun in the past, too. This is despite slathering on sunscreen daily for the past ten years or so though. What I've noticed is that if you have the combination of very hot weather and too much sun, reapplication of sunscreen is key.

I'm too lazy to be that diligent about reapplying though. I'll be watching this thread for a homemade remedy for the spots!
posted by zippity at 5:57 PM on September 22, 2007

I have loads of brown sun damage on my face. I can tell you how to make them disappear. I'm not sure they go away completely. The minute I spend time in the sun without sunscreen they pop out again, so to speak. As long as I'm using product my skin isn't discolored and looks even.

First apply Jeffrey Dover's Skin Effects Advanced Brightening Complex. This is only available at CVS. If you like it, stock up. It's hard to find at times. This stuff works. If by chance you don't have access to a CVS, try something like this: Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightener. It's the same idea.

Purpose Redness Reducing Moisturizer, SPF 30. Layer it on top of the Advanced Brightening Complex daily. It doesn't matter if you suffer from redness or not. This sunscreen is wonderful for daily use. It's not greasy or irritating.

At night you can use more of the Brightening Complex or something to target aging and brown spots, like Olay Total Effects. Or, a serum, such as SkinCeuticals. Or, Neutrogena Visibly Even Night Concentrate.

People tell me I have great skin. This makes me laugh and feel good at the same time. These products actually work if you use them.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:31 PM on September 22, 2007 [4 favorites]

I realize I listed a lot of products that are available in the US. If you're in another part of the world:

A product with Hydroquinone or a skin lightening Vitamin C serum (Cellex-C is available in the UK and other parts of the world. Cellex-C makes a fade gel too), a good sunscreen, and anti-aging cream with Retinol is your best bet.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:10 PM on September 22, 2007

Hydroquinone has been banned in the UK.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:31 PM on September 22, 2007

Good to know about the hydroquinone in the UK. I know it isn't widely received.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:59 PM on September 22, 2007

The spots are called hyperpigmentation. They can usually be faded but you have to experiment because you never know what will work on you.

Here are some options:
1. Retin-A (only available with prescription).
2. Serums or creams containing hydroquinone.
3. Serums or creams containing kojic acid.

And definitely start using sunscreen religiously. Use it rain or shine with SPF 15 or SPF 30.
posted by Soda-Da at 8:21 PM on September 22, 2007

Along these lines (because I was going to ask the EXACT same question this week!), does anyone have a recommendation for a daily moisturizer that has a higher SPF than 15? I use Olay Total Effects daily, and absoluely love it, but it's only 15 and I really need 30 or higher for the Irish liver spot fest going on on my face.
posted by tristeza at 8:45 PM on September 22, 2007

Neutrogena makes a product called Health Defense Daily Moisturizer that's available in drugstores. It used to be SPF 30, and Neutrogena is now rolling out an SPF 45 formulation.
posted by caitlinb at 11:34 PM on September 22, 2007

At the drugstore earlier, I noticed an SPF 30 version of Aveeno's Positively Radiant daily moisturizer.
posted by PY at 1:43 AM on September 23, 2007

If you're pregnant or taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacements, it may be melasma, which will likely fade away if you stop taking the contraceptives/hormones or give birth. Otherwise, the treatment is the same (fade creams).
posted by magicbus at 6:12 AM on September 23, 2007

@ tristeza

How about Kiehl's Ultra Protection Water-Based Suncreeen Lotion SPF 25?

Not greasy, doesn't clog your pores, unscented, works great.

I used to use Neutrogena sunscreens -- but they were too greasy and I always got very stuffed up for about 30 minutes post application. Not with Kiehl's. It's expensive, but worth it.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:28 AM on September 23, 2007

For facial sunscreen, I'm a huge fan of Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Face Cream SPF 55. It's the only thing that has kept my skin protected through hours of running outside in San Diego.
posted by 26.2 at 11:27 AM on September 23, 2007

all of these suggestions might help...a little -- very little, and very slowly.

much more effective (though more expensive) is IPL therapy (intense pulsed light). It uses special types of very intense light to destroy the pigment in your age/liver spots. There are laser treatments which also work, but they tend to be quite painful.

If you're in the Chicago area, I would be happy to evaluate you for free.

good luck!

(and no matter what you decide, use sunscreen religiously!)
posted by chicagodoc at 7:51 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thank you all very much for the great advice :)!! I'm definately going to have to increase the SPF of my moisturizer, I'm also going to try the brightening complex and there's a few places in my area (Brisbane, Australia) that do IPL therapy.

Thank you once again, I really appreciate it!
posted by katala at 1:05 AM on September 26, 2007

dermatologists zap those off all the time! Easy!
posted by seekingsimplicity at 12:26 PM on September 28, 2007

I was chatting to a beauty therapist (of over 20 years experience)about this recently. Of course the salon where she works offers many expensive treatments for hyper pigmentation, however she told me to forget them all and instead try John Plunkett's Superfade. She said this stuff is fabulous. It will take a few months, though and you have to apply it religiously.

A few years ago, I discussed having it zapped with the IPL person at a spa I used to work at, and she said it wouldn't be worth trying on me. I can't remember her exact explantion as to why not, but I did have a few IPL sessions with her for hair removal, which were very successful. (I developed hyper pigmentation on my forehead about 7 years ago when I was on the pill. I only took it for about 3 months, because it also drove me insane.)
posted by goshling at 3:26 PM on September 30, 2007

I recently picked up this book about folk medicine, and the author suggests rubbing castor oil nightly on sun spots to help them fade. No clue if it actually works but it couldn't hurt to try!
posted by zippity at 5:46 PM on November 27, 2007

For the last week or two, I've been using this stuff and am pleased with the results so far. Skin Doctors products seem to actually do what they claim to do. I'm generally pretty slack with applying stuff as often as recommended, but I'm trying to get into the habit of using White everyday, followed by SPF 25+.
I also just bought a bottle of Skin Doctors Rapid Peel, because I am an exfoliation junkie.
I've not tried Bio Oil but I've heard it is an excellent product. I did buy some recently, but it's disappeared into the teenager's room, and I have been instructed to buy more.
posted by goshling at 3:45 AM on November 29, 2007

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